Gifts are given unconditionally in the culture of Burning Man. These gifts are fairly easy to accept in the case of people who contribute to our community, and it is only natural to acknowledge these gifts and their givers.
Here are some ways your fellow burners celebrate the art of giving.
Lend a Helping Hand
Most of the time, people don’t need a trinket, bracelet, or sticker… they would prefer to get to know you as an individual, particularly if you help out! Bring your work gloves with you and look for people needing help as you move around Black Rock City. You could help push heavy objects, tackle a job, set up camp, etc.
Seriously, by lending a helping hand, you’re giving the best and most memorable gift while also practicing 7 of the 10 principles of Burning Man at once. While doing so you’re honoring: Radical Inclusion, Gifting, Radical Self Expression, Communal Effort, Civic Responsibility, Participation, and Immediacy.
One of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself and those you connect with is being part of the memories of others at Burning Man. Extra brownie points: carry a charged drill with you during setup days and you are an automatic hero.
While these gifts are sometimes “MOOP-y,” they are extremely practical and easily obtained in many stores. Glow-sticks, glow-rings, glow-in-the-dark make-up, etc. If it lights up, it’s a great gift to “darkwads” and those who roam around after sunset without being lit-up. If possible, look for rechargeable items or ones powered by batteries to make your gift more long-lasting!
Always have extra food, water, sunblock, and wet wipes. Offer them to anyone who needs them. Talk and ask questions, give the best hugs, and help people whenever you see that they need support.
The best physical gifts are functional, such as food, old school cameras that immediately develop the picture, and LED lights. There’s a lot of darkwads/newbies who just don’t have enough lights and need them.
If you want to join a Burning Man theme camp that strives to help others, join Pathogen Trackers for this year’s Burn.